WILMINGTON, Del. – Adam Scott, the 36-hole leader of the BMW Championship, couldn’t remember the last time he held a lead on the PGA Tour.
The 42-year-old racked his brain to recall the answer, which is the 2020 Genesis Invitational when he shared the 54-hole lead and went on to claim his 14th and most recent Tour title. His last 36-hole lead? At the 2019 Masters. But Scott said back at the Rocket Mortgage Classic last month when he was in contention after 36 holes that it feels like it’s been a long time since he’s been in the winner’s circle and he reiterated that point on Friday after shooting 2-under 69 at Wilmington Country Club’s South Course to improve to 8-under 142 at the halfway point of the penultimate event of the PGA Tour season.
“That’s what I’m trying to do is win, but the competition is tough out here, and I certainly haven’t had my best stuff for quite a while,” Scott said. “It’s been a battle for sure. But that’s how this game is.”
Scott’s lead grew to three strokes during the second round after he made a birdie at the par-5 12th hole to reach double digits at 10 under. Only a double bogey at 17, where he sprayed his tee shot right and said he made a complete mess, spoiled a clean card.
“It’s a good reminder for the weekend that I’ve really got to keep it under control and don’t want to have too many get off the map and get out of position around here,” he said.
Scott played his way into the 70-man field (which was reduced to 68 after two withdrawals) at the BMW by recording a tie for fifth at last week’s FedEx St. Jude Championship and is trying to continue to work his way into the Tour Championship, which is the FedEx Cup finale next week for the top 30 in the point standings after this week. But Scott’s not obsessing over his projected rank in the playoffs – a win has him expected to rise to No. 3 – and whether he qualifies for East Lake, which would qualify him for all four majors (he’s already exempt to the Masters as a past champion). Rather, he’s focused on trying to notch his 15th Tour title and first in more than two years.
“If I do that,” he said, “I think I’ll make it.”
Scheffler projected to regain No. 1 spot in FedEx Cup
Scottie Scheffler of the United States plays his shot from the seventh tee during the second round of the BMW Championship at Wilmington Country Club on August 19, 2022 in Wilmington, Delaware. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Scottie Scheffler held the FedEx Cup lead for 23 weeks until Will Zalatoris leapfrogged to the top of the standings thanks to his maiden victory at the FedEx St. Jude Championship.
The two longtime friends from Dallas played the first two rounds together and so far Scheffler has bragging rights after shooting 4-under 67 to improve to 7-under (Zalatoris is 3 under after a 69.)
“We’ve been playing against each other for a long time,” Scheffler said. “It’s kind of weird going from playing nine holes tournaments when we were 8-9 years old and now we’re 1-2 in the FedEx Cup standings.”
Scheffler made birdie at the first three holes and four of the first six holes before making his only bogey of the round at the seventh. Scheffler tacked on a two-putt birdie at the par-5 14th. If things were to remain as they are after 36 holes, Scheffler and Zalatoris are projected to flip flop places in the point standings and Scheffler would carry the lead into next week’s staggered start to the leaderboard at the Tour Championship.
On Friday, Scheffler, the world No. 1, and Zalatoris, the newly minted Tour winner, both wore shirts with similar shades of green, but Scheffler said it was just a coincidence.
“Fortunately, we were wearing different colored pants but there was definitely a few good jokes out there about the color schemes,” he said.
Looks like Rory didn't get the Friday outfit memo from Scottie and Will 😅👋 pic.twitter.com/D2DCDTIaZo
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) August 19, 2022
Young and the restless for a win
Cameron Young of the United States plays his shot from the third tee during the second round of the BMW Championship at Wilmington Country Club on August 19, 2022, in Wilmington, Delaware. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
We learned that Cameron Young is a goal-setter. The last couple years he’s written them down at the beginning of the year.
“I feel like it just gives you some standards for yourself for the year,” he explained.
If you assumed given his standout rookie season on the PGA Tour that he must have checked off most of the boxes, you’d be wrong.
“I think I’ve checked off about one,” he said. “Still got some work to do.”
Apparently Young set the bar high but he did note that “a lot of them are year-end goals, so I kind of have to wait,” he said. “Hopefully if I can do a few more of them, that would be nice.”
All that’s left for him to do this season is take a page out of the playbook of former NFL owner Al Davis and just win, baby. Young has notched five seconds and two thirds this season and after 36 holes he’s T-2 at 7-under 135 after posting 68 on Friday.
“It was a little bit messy,” Young said. “Sometimes I feel like you hit a bunch of good shots and have a lot of 20-footers, and today I was able to hit some close, and I think pretty much all my birdies came from hitting a wedge to inside of eight or nine feet.”
And how many boxes would he check off his list of goals if he captured his first PGA Tour title at the BMW?
“There would be a couple, yeah,” he said. “I think if I keep playing the way I am, I’ll check off most of them.”
Spieth preps for BMW at Pine Valley
Jordan Spieth plays a shot on the 17tth fairway during the second round of the BMW Championship golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Jordan Spieth was tied for the lead and had a bogey-free round going until he failed to get up and down from behind the green, missing a 12-foot par putt. Still, he’s well positioned to make a run for his second Tour title of the year. (He won the RBC Heritage in April.)
“I feel like I’m doing everything good, nothing spectacular, but I feel like in every facet of my game, it’s trending and improving, and I know what to do to get it better and better,” he said. “Certainly feels really good.”
Spieth blamed missing the cut at the FedEx St. Jude Championship on rust after taking time off after the British Open. When he was ready to dust off the clubs he discovered that all the courses that he typically plays and practices at in Dallas were closed to punch and sand the greens.
“I didn’t know that until I got back home. We went out of town,” Spieth said. “So I tried to work a little with my coach, then I went to Nashville to play some with Justin, and I’m like, ‘Man, it’s not great right now but I’ll try and figure it out.’ ”
It turned out swing coach Cameron McCormick had some family in town and wasn’t available to work with him either. But Spieth made the most of his missed cut, flying in early to play Pine Valley on Sunday with caddie Michael Greller, agent Jay Danzi and Pine Valley member Michael McDermott, who has won the prestigious Crump Cup at the famed course multiple times. Playing in the group ahead of them? World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler.
“Michael almost accidentally hit him a few times,” Spieth said. “But yeah, that was a fun round. But my progress really started, I think, on Monday.”
Who’s in, Who’s out for East Lake
We’re only halfway to crowning a champion as well as just halfway to determining who’s in, who’s out of the top 30 in the FedEx Cup standings. After 36 holes, here’s a look at who is on the bubble for qualifying for the Tour Championship at East Lake next week: